Top Wildlife Taxidermists Compete for Coveted NWTF Title
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — America's best wildlife taxidermists vied for top honors at the National Wild Turkey Federation's Grand National Wild Turkey and White-tailed Deer Taxidermy Competition during the NWTF's 35th annual National Convention and Sport Show in Nashville, Tenn.
More than $7,500 in cash and prizes was up for grabs as taxidermists competed for the coveted title of Best of Show in one of the NWTF's most prestigious competitions.
"Winning the NWTF's Grand National Wild Turkey and White-tailed Deer Taxidermy Competition means you've beaten some of the best wildlife taxidermists in the world. It's an accomplishment that speaks volumes about an artist's skill and dedication to sharing the unique beauty of his art with others," said Karen Cavender, NWTF special events coordinator.
The competition, sponsored by Mossberg and HuntVe, has white-tailed deer and wild turkey categories in both professional and masters skill divisions. Poses included open and closed mouth for deer, and standing, strutting, open wing and group for turkey.
This year, as part of their "Our Youth. Our Legacy." convention theme, the NWTF added two new divisions to the competition for youth ages 17 and under and amateur taxidermists.
The WASCO (Wildlife Artist Supply Company) award winner for Most Artistic Entry was Ed Hancock of Lexington, Ky. Other winners were:
White-tailed Deer Professional
Best Closed Mouth Deer - Michael Glass of Mt. Juliet, Tenn.
Best Open Mouth Deer - Sean Sweeney of Lewisburg, Tenn.
Best of Show - Sean Sweeney of Lewisburg, Tenn.
Best Closed Mouth Deer - Kyle Patin of Lewisburg, Tenn.
Best of Show - Kyle Patin of Lewisburg, Tenn.
1st Place - Dan Sweeney of Dickson, Tenn.
2nd Place - Ferrell Cosby of Alvaton, Ky.
Best Amateur - David Ferrell of Fayetteville, Tenn.
Best Youth - Riley Ring of Columbia, Tenn.
Wild Turkey Professional
Best Group - Casey McLearen of Burns, Tenn.
Best Open Wing - Joshua Lengacher of Washington, Ind.
Best Standing - Ron Elkins of Stoutsville, Ohio
Best Strutting - Casey McLearen of Burns, Tenn.
Best of Show - Ron Elkins of Stoutsville, Ohio
Best Group - John Beard of Dickson, Tenn.
Best Standing - Shawn Whitehead of Nicholasville, Ky.
Best Strutting - Alicia Love of Glendale, Ky.
Best of Show - Shawn Whitehead of Nicholasville, Ky.
1st Place - Kevin Burleson of Great Valley, N.Y.
2nd Place - Jordan Walls of Decherd, Tenn.
Best Amateur - Riley Ring of Columbia, Tenn.
Best Youth - Jordan Walls of Decherd, Tenn.
2011 Convention Sponsors
Academy Sports and Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Bank of America, Benelli USA, Browning-USRAC, Call Makers and Collectors Association of America, Chevrolet, Federal Premium Ammunition, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, HuntVe, Marlin Firearms Company, Mossberg & Sons Inc., Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nationwide, The Outdoor Connection Inc., Remington Arms Company Inc., Rivers Edge Treestands, SHE Outdoor Apparel, U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, Weatherby Inc., Wild Turkey Bourbon, Winchester/Olin Corporation